How to decrease screen time while in quarantine during coronavirus pandemic

The more we stay safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the more many of us are glued to our screens.

Between work, video chats, and texting, screens are keeping us connected when we can't physically interact. But at what expense? And how do we manage this?

Screen burnout is real and for many, the effects of it are starting to set in.

This can result in frustration, anxiety and exhaustion, said Dr. Judson Brewer, director of Research and Innovation at Brown University's Mindfulness Center.

Brewer, a leading neuroscientist and psychiatrist, studies human behavior and habits. He said the first step to preventing screen burnout is to map out what is going on in our minds when we are drawn to devices and how we feel after we use them.

"What am I aiming to do? Is this to communicate with somebody? Is this because I'm forced to go on a meeting, and what is my habitual reaction?" he said.

Next, quit trying to multitask, which can be overly taxing on our brain.

"A lot of people like to think that multitasking is effective and efficient, but there is plenty of neuroscience now showing that it actually totally ruins our brain. It's not good, it's inefficient, it's ineffective," Brewer said.

He said screens can be deceiving in filling the connection voids many are craving and suggests instead, people should focus on how rewarding other interactions may feel.

Examine how you feel when you spend time with your kids or take the dog for a walk, he suggested.

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